Perfecting My Pretzel, Critique Please!
My recipe has turned into a mass combination of dozens of others, which I've experimented with over the years. Truthfully, I think they are delicious. But there may be room for improvement. I have never been able to figure out ratios and I think I may be using too much or too little of some ingredients...while adding others that provide little 'function' at all. Feedback?
4.5 c. bread flour
1.75 tsp salt
1.5 T brown sugar (should I use malt powder instead?)
2 tsp. instant yeast (recently started using 1 pkg. of active dry)
1.5 c. warm water
3 T. melted butter (started adding when I wanted to make rolls, was told this would make them softer for sandwiches)
6 c. water: 1 c. baking soda for boil (yes, I know lye is best, but I just don't feel comfortable working with it)
Knead for 2 minutes...rest for 5 minutes...Knead for 4 minutes...Cover and rest for an hour.
Roll into logs...rest for 10...shape into pretzels...rest for 10....
Boil on each side for 30 seconds (some people boil for 2 min?! others just "dunk" them? Thoughts?)
Brush with egg
400 degrees for 8 minutes...rotate...another 8 minutes.
OK...how can I improve this...or do I need to?
Also, I've seen some people FREEZING their shaped pretzels....then boiling (still frozen) when ready to bake. Anyone else use this technique?